The Volvo banner featured in this post caught my eye because it actually uses a QR code in digital paid media to drive to a mobile app so that users can play a branded game. My immediate reaction was first one of skepticism, because it felt unnecessary to deliver an interactive experience in mobile, when a user is already on their computer. Digging a little deeper, it makes a bit more sense when I think about the number of mobile programs that I’ve seen clients develop without having a promotional strategy in place. The digital media / QR approach is actually quite innovative if you have a client that’s looking to promote their mobile experience for the right reasons.
Assessing the payoff:
If you’re going to invest in driving people to an app, you have to assess how much value you place on app downloads and whether they’re likely to engage with the app once versus many times. In the Volvo example, is it worth the spend when you’re getting users to download a branded app that they may use only one or twice? For branded apps that are more utility driven, and thus, used more than once and for a longer term, investing in app promotional strategy may show a much higher ROI.
Interestingly, it appears Volvo often goes for the innovation angle. Being the first to do something new has always had PR and buzz value. Further, if it’s untested, you can usually negotiate for more value-add in the media deal. The big take away here is that innovation entails more risk in advertising, but it can also spark more value, buzz and positive perception than playing it safe all the time. Obviously, the risk assessment always needs to be calculated – but can pay off in the end.